Last week we saw a couple of well-executed and very effective shovel passes. As such, Smart Football breaks down the effectiveness of the shovel pass:
Specifically, the shovel alleviates the biggest problem with using the draw as the run play: it’s just a fraction too slow. Now, some of this improves as the quarterback becomes a better and quicker decisionmaker, but often, as seen in the diagram below, the draw is well blocked and there’s lots of space, but a defender who is trying to get to the quarterback is also able to get a hand on the runningback to stop him for a loss. The shovel lets the runner clear the wreckage by the quarterback and get upfield more quickly.